Digital Business Card

shredded paper

Recently I took on a new role. I was asked for information so that business cards could be ordered for me. I reflected a moment and realized I don’t really use business cards anymore. I decided that I needed a digital way to share my business (and personal) information, and I wanted to be able to control what I share. One of the side benefits of this is I don’t have to share my personal mobile phone number either. The number below is purchased through Twilio and is only used to reply with my digital business card.

You can send a SMS (type anything) to +1 949 333-0466 to try it out.

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I'm OK; the Bull is Dead.

bull

Years ago I read a great article on clear communication. Unfortunately it is hard to find these days. I am reproducing it here for posterity and full attribution.


By Gopal K. Kapur
Computerworld | JUN 21, 2004 7:00 AM PT

Early in my career, when I worked as an engineer, my boss had a process by which the engineering team was expected to report project status. He insisted that we use the following steps, in the specified order:

  1. Punch line: The facts; no adjectives, adverbs or modifiers. “Milestone 4 wasn’t hit on time, and we didn’t start Task 8 as planned.” Or, “Received charter approval as planned.”
  2. Current status: How the punch-line statement affects the project. “Because of the missed milestone, the critical path has been delayed five days.”
  3. Next steps: The solution, if any. “I will be able to make up three days during the next two weeks but will still be behind by two days.”
  4. Explanation: The reason behind the punch line. “Two of the five days’ delay is due to late discovery of a hardware interface problem, and the remaining three days’ delay is due to being called to help the customer support staff for a production problem.”

Notice the almost reverse order of these points in comparison with the common reporting style in which team members start with a long explanation of why things went wrong. Using the four steps described above, the project manager learns the most important information first, then he learns supporting information to help complete the story.

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The Polygon of Enterprise Despair

The polygon of enterprise despair

When enterprises see the changes wrought by disruptors in music (Spotify), advertising (Google) or retail (Amazon), they wonder what may be in store for them.

As of this writing, in early 2019 Sears announced it is near liquidation, with a $4.4B bid to keep operating. At the same moment, on the same day, Amazon.com is the most valuable company in the world with an$810B valuation, or 184 times greater.

Prior to Amazon’s founding Sears had everything. Global supply chain, check. Top notch distribution operation, check. System and infrastructure to take orders and handling billing, check. Brand recognition and established customer base, check.

Unfortunately for an incumbent, change is much harder than anyone imagines it to be.

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Hammer Factories

the Internet

There is a post from 2005 by Benji Smith in the old (and now closed) Joel on Software Discussion Group. It’s titled “Why I Hate Frameworks”. But I know it as “the hammer factory” post. It’s just brilliant, even 13 years later. I am reproducing it here for posterity in case the old Joel on Software Discussion Group ever disappears.

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Modern Web Development

Rekit

Web development has evolved faster than nearly every other software engineering discipline. The pace of innovation has been relentless, and front-end developers are confronted with new frameworks, tools, and standards for “modern” web development constantly. Framework fatigue is real thing. Even the languages of the web (HTML, CSS, and ECMAScript) have gone through a major modernization effort (and the pace of change increased):

  • HTML > HTML5 > HTML 5.2
  • CSS 3 > CSS 4 + SCSS, PostCSS, autoprefixer, etc.
  • ECMAScript 5 (2009) > ECMAScript 2015, ECMAScript 2016, ECMAScript 2017, ECMAScript 2018

The positive aspects of all the “churn” in the web development ecosystem are some truly incredible innovations that have fundamentally changed web development to enable much richer, engaging, and performant web “applications”.

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